Local school districts prepare to go remote as COVID-19 cases rise


CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, many school districts across the Capital Region are making plans to prepare for remote learning while others have already stopped in-person learning all together.

For many students and staff, the coronavirus pandemic has consisted of a lot of unknowns and uphill battles.

“We are planning for everything and anything to happen,” said Don Stevens, Assistant Superintendent of Watervliet City School District.

Many school districts say they are gearing up. In Albany, officials have notified parents and students about the possibility of going remote.

“We are going to be working with our students who have been in-person learning. We will talk to them about how you can walk through and transition to that virtual learning environment. We want to make sure we have everything put in place if we need to make that decision,” said Kaweeda Adams, Superintendent of Albany City School District.

In Watervliet, officials are doing more than just notifying parents and students. They are doing a remote practice day the day before Thanksgiving break.

“We are going to have all the teachers and students work from home that day. We are going to see what it looks like and what we need to tweak. We will look to see what we need to change and how we can support the teachers in our district. We want to make sure students are learning efficiently if in the near future they do need to go remote,” said Stevens. 

School districts like Averill Park have already seen a rise in COVID-19 cases. Officials decided to hit the pause button for in-person learning on Tuesday. All students in grades K-12 will be transitioning to full remote learning. The district will remain remote until Monday, November 30.

“We have seen a spike in both student and staff positive COVID-19 cases over the last week. We just felt at this point the spread was uncertain, and we didn’t want it to continue in our community. We thought it was the responsible thing to do for our students, their families and our staff,” Dr. James Franchini, Superintendent of Averill Park Central School District.

Educators say it’s important to keep following COVID-19 protocols to ensure students can remain in the classroom.

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